Beware ... They're still at it!
I received a phone call yesterday, on my mobile, while I was at work - So unable to access the internet!! Telling me that I had entered an email/ Internet based competition some days ago.
The girl I spoke with, PAIGE, gave me a huge spiel about how I had won a HUGELY discounted 2-week trip to Florida & the Bahamas. She then told me to run & grab a pen & paper, & proceeded to rattle off the number of days & nights I would be staying at several reputable & well known resort, hotel & cruise establishments that even I have heard of - (I live in Tasmania - Type into Google Maps if you don't get my reference!!!!!)
These names helped convince me that this was legitimate, but I still was not sure. Paige then handed me over to another guy, who started by confirming all the details they already had, meaning my full name, address, email address, telephone number, & then casually slipped in the request for my credit card number. I said to the guy (His name escapes me) that I was not comfortable about giving over my credit card details, & asked if there was a way for me to pay via PayPal or some other secure electronic method.
He said that this was not possible at this stage, but that the company is looking into it, but that I shouldn't worry, as they only needed a credit card number to verify my identity & to check that I do in fact have a valid Credit Card. He told me that I would be receiving an information pack in the mail, telling me all about my "Prize", as well as an email confirming all the details of the phone call.
The instructions were - Give us your card number now, just so that we can confirm that all is well, & then once you get your pack & decide if youy want it, then we will process the charge.
I was handed over to their "Credit Identity Verification Officer" Chris Patterson, as I was told that he was the only one who had access to my number, & all he could do was confirm that the card was active.
I STUPIDLY gave him the number.
There was also what sounded like a highly professional *Recorded* conversation between myself & this Chris, at the beginning of which I was told to please "Hold all questions til the end". It was, again, him repeating all my details, pausing for me to say "Yes" to each. He then gave me what is apparently my unique confirmation number...
Following this I was handed back to the other guy I spoke to, he said "See, now you know we're legit - Otherwise I would have hung up once we got your card number"... Hardly amusing!!
I was then handballed back to Paige, who told me that I was all good to go, the email was on its way, & my information pack would be posted International Priority that day. She also gave me her personal ID number, (7532), so that if I needed to call with any enquiries I could be put through directly to her. The customer service telephone numbers they gave me were 1-407-8968680, & 1-800-8610854.
When I got home, mere hours later, I immediately jumped online to check my email for details about my "Holiday", & finding nothing in my Inbox, Junk email or rejected folders, I grew slightly worried. As it happened I had to jump onto my internet banking website to pay a bill anyway, which is how I came to notice that over $590au had been charged to my credit card.
I rang my bank immediately, & was told that they tried to charge $698US, but that was rejected as it went over my limit, so instead they dropped to a $525US charge. My bank also told me that less that an hour later, they tried to charge the further $173us.
My card has now been stopped, & a dispute opened to retireve that money.
Looking on this website, as well as MANY MANY others, it is clear that they had no intent to supply me the holiday, which they are not supposed to have charged me for yet anyway!!
All in all I would rate my experiences with Special-T Travel as the most expensive page full of scribbled notes & rubbish I have ever come across.
Avoid at all costs